I’ve spent the past month investing in the American economy by furnishing my new home.
I made a conscious decision to buy Made in America products whenever possible. It took a little more time and research than if I had just gone to a big box store or a big international department store.
Overall, I found that American made products offered better quality at very competitive prices whether it was a mattress or a wine cellar or a kitchen bar.
Once I had decided on a product, I had to identify a local source that could order, assemble and deliver it to my home.
Every step in the process gave me the satisfaction of knowing I was contributing to strengthening the American economy.
1.Buying American Creates American Jobs
At least 70 percent of the total US Economy is driven by consumer spending. (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-consumer-spending-3882.html)
Almost 80 percent of the jobs in America are generated by small businesses. Those small businesses earn revenue directly or indirectly from consumer spending.
Economic growth is not determined by how many dollar bills the US Treasury prints. The pace at which the economy grows is determined by how fast those dollar bills change hands between producers and consumers within the circle of the US economy.
For example, I paid the locally owned and operated furniture store for the kitchen bar I had selected and Fred, the store owner, in turn, paid a significant portion of that money to the manufacturer he ordered the product from. He paid still more to his own employees who assembled and delivered the product. The rest was a modest profit for himself.
The manufacturer employs people who have tooling, wood working, logistics and operational skills that command good wages.
The wages these workers earn create demand for goods and services they need – from a sandwich at lunch to school supplies for their children – creating more jobs and more demand within our economy.
The more goods and services Americans buy from fellow Americans the faster the economy grows. This domestically fueled growth makes our economy less vulnerable to international economic pressures.
The more American consumers consume American made products, the more stable the US economy is — the more real value is added to your and my investments.
2.Buying American Saves Jobs
When you flock to WalMart or Target for “cheaper” imports, just the opposite happens (http://www.reimagineamerica.org/american-consumers-can-make-bangladesh-fire-factory-safety-program-reality/). When you buy imported goods, the dollars flow out of our economy and create wages and consumer demand in some other country.
The rule of thumb used by economists: For every middle income manufacturing job the US economy creates, four support jobs are created in the economy.
Basically, if you buy imported goods, there’s no American worker needed who, in turn, needs to buy a sandwich for lunch.
I am not a protectionist. I bought a Martha Stewart@ bedspread made in China without a qualm. But I smile knowing it’s covering an American made Beautyrest@ mattress that cost 10 times more.
3. Buying American is an Investment In Our Future
All the political blather about US minimum wage, global trade policy and raising taxes on 136 billionaires seem to me to miss the most basic point.
The US labor participation rate is down to 61 percent from a normal closer to 65 percent. Raising the minimum wage won’t change that statistic – it could make it worse.
But Americans making the pledge to look for the Made in USA logo on the products they purchase can change that statistic.
It is inexplicable to me that our national leaders don’t seem to grasp this basic concept.
All they need to do is watch ABC Nightly News anchor, David Muir – who got his “big break” on national TV scene with his Made in America reports. He argues if every American spent $64 of their shopping budget on products carrying the Made in USA logo, the result would be 500,000 new permanent jobs with good wages.
Consumer demand for Made in USA goods will encourage the restoration of vocational education programs in our high schools and community colleges to develop the well-paid, skilled work force American industry requires.
Buying American is not anti-competitive or protectionist.
It’s the opposite. The higher the volume of goods produced by American workers, the cheaper each piece is – making our products more globally competitive.
Americans buying Made in USA are investing in our national economic future. It’s a solid investment that will pay real dividends for us and for our children.
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